With a new national lockdown coming into force, PCC Sue Mountstevens is reassuring victims and survivors of domestic abuse that they can leave their house to escape a dangerous situation or relationship.
Although local people are being asked to stay at home to lessen the impact of the virus, coronavirus household isolation does not apply if victims need to leave their home to protect themselves or their family against domestic violence. As with the first lockdown, restrictions do not mean survivors have to stay in a dangerous environment or relationship.
“Another lockdown is a scary and uncertain time for many of us but especially those who are in domestic abuse environments. I cannot stress enough that household isolation instructions such as lockdown or self-isolating do not apply if you need to leave your house to escape domestic abuse.
“I fear that victims and survivors think that restrictions mean they cannot leave their house and, therefore, the dangerous environment they find themselves in. This is not the case. Please know that you are not alone; come forward and seek help either by speaking to a local support service or by calling the police.”PCC Sue Mountstevens
The PCC and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) continue to work alongside local commissioned services to ensure providers can still deliver advocacy, emotional and psychological support.
Such support is being delivered remotely via phone, webchat and video chat, and their helplines remain active for those who want to access support. Victims can access help whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not, no matter how long ago the incident took place.
If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic abuse or sexual violence, please speak to someone:
- on the phone – call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency
- in person – at a police station
- online – fill in the report a crime or incident form
Support for victims and survivors
Help is available whether you report to the police or not, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. Find out more about local support services.